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Tourist Places To Visit In Glasgow
Glasgow is a multi-faceted, multicultural city situated along River Clyde in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland. It is a city known for its vibrant character and a distinctly unique personality that shines through all the architectural marvels and the fancy shopping districts. Glasgow is also a UNESCO City of Music; the numerous spots where you can enjoy live bands and performances are some of the most interesting parts of the city. Glasgow is also home to amazing artists that have left their mark on many walls across the city, but some of the Turner Prize-winning visual artists have truly brought international recognition to Glasgow. Read on to know more about some of the best places to visit in Glasgow.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Constructed in 1901, this magnificent building is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Glasgow. Apart from its exquisite Spanish Baroque style, the museum is known for its wide variety of exhibits that range from displays of prehistoric mammals and stuffed animals to Micronesian shark-tooth swords, medieval armour and a Spitfire jet from World War II. The rooms are carefully themed into more than 20 galleries and consist of a total of almost 8000 exhibits. There are separate rooms featuring Scottish art, French impressionist works, and Italian Renaissance paintings. Kelvingrove is a free museum and also the largest one in Glasgow, which is often crowded with visitors almost all through the year.
If you want to catch a glimpse of what Glasgow might have looked like in the old days, Riverside Museum is the place to be. Previously the Glasgow Transport Museum, this visually impressive museum was designed by the British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. The main highlight of the museum is a fascinating collection of vintage cars made in Scotland, horse-drawn carriages, buses, railway locos and trams from the early 1900s. There is also a recreation of a local shopping street from the early 20th-century, which offers a lot of context to the old vehicles present here. Visiting the museum is like taking a step back in Glasgow’s history, where visitors can walk through the interactive shops on the street and climb onto the vehicles that make up the exhibit. An impressive three-masted Tall Ship on display outside the museum also showcases Glasgow’s rich maritime heritage.
St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
Being home to numerous cultures and just as many religions from around the world, it is only fitting that the only public museum on the planet dedicated to the subject of religion is based in Glasgow. Opened in 1993, the St Mungo museum contains numerous religious art and artefacts from around the world and also depicts the religious history of Scotland. There is also a small tranquil zen garden outside the museum where visitors can try their hand at meditation. Numerous exhibitions are held here regularly where visitors can learn more about the religious aspects of different faiths and build bridges of understanding.
Gallery of Modern Art
Located right in the centre of the city and close to the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art showcases some of the greatest works of the city’s local artists as well as highlight the influences international artists have had on the local art scene. The gallery is located in a stately looking building that has been around since 1778 and has served numerous purposes before becoming the art gallery in 1996. The gallery is also one of the most recognizable buildings in the city because of the Equestrian Statue of the Duke of Wellington present outside the gallery. The placement of a plastic traffic cone on his head every evening showcases the humorous side of the Glaswegians and adds a fun element to the gallery.
Glasgow Science Centre and Glasgow Tower
The three-floored Glasgow Science Centre will appeal particularly to children and was established with the purpose of both teaching and entertaining them at the same time. The impressive building consists of a planetarium, an IMAX theatre, several galleries with hands-on activities, two cafes and also a gift shop. While the planetarium will interest both kids and adults alike, young children can enjoy a fun time at the Big Explorer area or the soft play area on the bottom floor. All the areas with hands-on activities for kids have been designed to make learning fun and interactive. If you are an adult who wants to enjoy the museum without the kids creating chaos around it, try visiting it on the adults-only nights. While the family-friendly Science Centre can be visited all year long, the Glasgow Tower situated outside the centre is open seasonally and is also just as popular among visitors to the centre. The 127-metre tower can rotate 360⁰ and offers some amazing views of the city from the viewing platform at the top.
Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis
The Glasgow Cathedral is also known by other names like the High Kirk of Glasgow or the Cathedral of Saint Mungo, but this imposing Gothic structure is more than just a church in the city. This 12th-century building is known to be Glasgow’s oldest monument and was originally a Roman Catholic church that is believed to have been founded by Saint Mungo. Saint Mungo, who was the patron saint of Glasgow, is buried in a crypt under the building; hence, his name is also associated with the cathedral. It is currently a gathering place for the Church of Scotland. Visitors can arrange a guided tour of the cathedral to explore its many historical, architectural and religious elements.
Across the cathedral connected by a footbridge, the necropolis is a large burial ground situated on a hillside that also doubles as a great spot to spend a day in on a warm summer’s day. Spread over 37 acres of land, this 19th-century piece of land is one of the most significant cemeteries in Europe and consists of thousands of monuments.
Hunterian Art Gallery
The Hunterian Art Gallery is the perfect place to explore the Scottish art scene. Located next to the university library, the art gallery is known to house a collection of almost 1000 permanent art exhibits from artists around the world but holds a particularly large collection that belongs to Scottish artists. One of the most prominent artists featured here is the renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh; his residence, known as the Mackintosh House, is attached to the art gallery and is open to visitors as well. Built in the 1960s, the residence is a reconstruction of the original home of Sir Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald, who was just as noted a designer as her husband. The aesthetic interiors, as well as exteriors of the house, are a fond reminder of Mackintosh’s legacy.
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens
The People’s Palace is a cultural centre that contains a collection of photographs, prints and films, artefacts and various other objects depicting the way of life in Glasgow from the 18th to 21st-century. the building was designed by Alexander McDonald and opened in 1898 as a social history museum for people to indulge in the local art and culture. The Winter Garden outside the building is a Victorian glasshouse that opens seasonally and showcases exotic plants and a collection of palms from lands far away. There’s also a café here if you decide to take a break from your exploration.